Cooperation between Finnish and Russian regions has been on-going since 1990’s, and three cross-border cooperation programmes are continuing this within the framework of ENI CBC. One of them is the South-East Finland – Russia CBC programme which is implemented in the border regions of South Karelia, South-Savo and Kymenlaakso in Finland and St. Petersburg and Leningrad region in Russia.
Being a very experienced programme, South-East Finland – Russia CBC 2014-2020 has a great ambition in terms of priorities for its cross border region. In particular, the projects supported will contribute to a lively, active and competitive economy. Projects shall also innovate and invest in a skilled and well-educated area. Environment issues are obviously covered to make the region attractive and clean. Finally, projects shall support in building a well-connected region.
The total funding made available by the programme is € 72.3 million, of which EU co-finances 50%. The state co-financing from Finland and the Russian Federation equally covers the other half.
In order to implement its strategy, the Managing Authority of the programme has decided to launch continuous calls for proposals, where applications to the programme can be submitted online. Information and training events have been regularly organised for each round of application submission to address the importance of partnership, among other aspects.
On 5 April, 71 participants met in St. Petersburg, Russia. The key question discussed was one of the most challenging in the whole ENI CBC community: How to build and keep partnership? “When the partnership is made out of different cultures, languages, traditions and norms, it is sometimes challenging to build partnerships. But if you share joint ambitions, goals and efforts, this becomes possible. Operational balance, clear division of roles and openness within the partner circle are the key factors for the success.” underlines Sari Loisa, the communication officer from the Managing Authority.
And where do we stand with the calls for proposals? The Programme’s third call was closed on 28 March 2018 with a total of 32 applications, including 106 partners from Finland and Russia. The evaluation and selection of projects is now on-going and will be finalised this autumn. The fourth call closes on 15 June 2018. The available financial envelope is € 8,5 million and applications may be submitted to all four priorities.
Since 2 May, we welcome a new member in the ENI CBC family. Mrs Tiina Jauhiainen started as the acting programme director in the Managing Authority. Her responsibilities cover the management, monitoring and operational reporting of the programme and keeping up the relations with the programme’s stakeholders and relevant authorities in Finland, Russia and European Commission. She will also sign the contracts on behalf of the Managing Authority.
And a last news for the road! For those who are around Helsinki next autumn, the Kuntamarkkinat, annual municipal fair in Finland’s capital, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year on 12 and 13 September and all stands are sold out! South-East Finland – Russia is on board with their colleagues from Karelia and Kolarctic CBC Programmes to inform participants on how to apply for CBC funding during the upcoming last calls and of the expected results from awarded actions and programmes. This will for sure be a great opportunity to engage also with the European Cooperation Day.
Lots on the agenda for the coming months! More information can be found at www.sefrcbc.fi/
© picture from 20.6.2017 Rauha, Finland – JMC meeting in South-Karelia Finland when the first 10 SEFR ENI CBC project proposals were selected for funding